Was so happy to read The Burden of Stuff: Why Less Could Make You Happier from the Huffington Post.
This is exactly what I’m (quietly) advocating–a purging of our consumerist lifestyles, which, in essence, is what it means to go green! Not just changing our kitchen, bathroom, or library, but more so our own mindset. To be able to go green for the long haul (i.e. be consistent in it enough for it to become a part of who we are), step one is to live simply. It is a gentle, quiet call for basic living, which does not necessarily mean a frugal lifestyle, but living with only what’s enough. It’s catching ourselves whenever we say “I want…” and really asking the whys behind that want…
Going-green has gotten on the “uso” bandwagon for a while now, which is good for the awareness it creates, but not for its message. The internet is literally swamped with go-green blogs now, our local bookstores have a new section just for the green lifestyle, and “green” products are just everywhere, with more popping up everyday and adding to the clutter!!
Author Kirsten Dirksen shares:
Our stuff has weight (something George Clooney’s character understood in Up In the Air with his How Heavy Is Your Backpack speech), whether because it simply blocks our view of the more important things in our lives, or because like some parasite, it begins to suck up our time and attention. Almost everything we have in our lives affects us in some way: the extra clothes in our closets just get in the way of what we really want to wear; the extra furniture takes up space; it’s extra stuff to dust, to rearrange, to store, to lose things in.
She did a video interview of Brad and Andy, a couple from Texas who literally uprooted themselves from the city and chose a leaner, cleaner lifestyle with just the bare essentials: a good bed, good table, good sofa, and some modern comforts like a good kitchen and the internet:
The good news is going-green is by no means an “absolute no” to material things! Brad adds:
I don’t want to own nice things, but I want to use nice things. For example I like the idea of going and renting, although Anda makes fun of me on this, a Porsche and driving up US Highway 1 from San Francisco to Portland. I think that would be great, but I don’t want to own a Porsche.
And for this “luxury”, Kirsten says there are new amazing communities that actually have communal ownership of “shareable” things like cars, bikes or tools. She also shares a link to Inconspicuous Consumption, which lists references on shared libraries of useful things. Have you heard of movements like this in the Philippines?
In any case, this is it, friends–the lamppost along the tunnel! To go green is to travel light and purge the excesses from our lives. It’s to sign up for “voluntary simplicity“, which is hard and frustrating, but as with all purges, promising and refreshing.